Gov. Hickenlooper commented last week that President Obama would have a hard time winning in Colorado in 2012. He cited dissatisfaction among voters over the high unemployment rate.
Republicans were so delighted, they almost wet themselves. John Andrews, former Colorado state senate president, was among the giddy.
If a Republican defeats Obama in 2012, Andrews wrote in the Denver Post, “Americans will have decided it’s grab the wheel or crash. The leadership reversal . . . would simply be the culmination of a citizenship resurgence that began a year or two ago,” he said, referring to the emergence of the Tea Party. He believes the Tea Party is a so-called “responsibility movement” that will challenge both political parties to do the right thing.
What a crock.
Andrews’ Tea Party pals believe that castrating the middle class is the road to a successful economy. Actually, it would be a disaster. You simply cannot diminish the consumer buying power of the middle class and have a viable economy. Third World economies don’t work. They make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Moreover, the Tea Party is a small slice of the conservative base of the Republican Party, and its narrow ideology will never allow it to be much more than that.
Fortunately, there is the emergence of a real “responsibility movement,” which could have a great and beneficial effect on our nation: It is the trade union movement and it could save the nation’s middle class.
Largely ignored by the press, the nation’s unions continue to turn out thousands of members at pro-worker demonstrations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and other states where labor is under attack by Republican governors and legislators.
Union volunteers in Wisconsin collected petitions required to qualify six Democratic state senate candidates to oppose Republican incumbents in a November recall election. Democrats need only win three of these seats to thwart Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-middle class agenda.
In a counter recall move, Republican candidates tried to challenge seven Democratic incumbents. Six failed to make the ballot and one was beaten decisively in July by an incumbent senator who is a longtime Teamster.
Ohio’s John Kasich is another very unpopular governor. Mostly union volunteers recently gathered nearly 1.3 million signatures when only 231,149 were required to place an initiative on the Ohio ballot in November that will repeal Kasich’s anti-collective bargaining law.
Walker and Kasich aren’t the only Republican governors sinking in the polls. GOP governors in Florida, Michigan, Maine and New Hampshire are all becoming victims of their own war on the middle class.
In addition, 14 right-to-work proposals were introduced in state legislatures this year. Only one state (New Hampshire) passed it, but the bill was vetoed by the governor. Apparently, the union busters failed to learn from Colorado where voters overwhelmingly defeated a right-to-work ballot initiative in 2008.
Apathetic union and non-union workers have failed for the past 20 years to realize that stagnant wages, the unfettered use of strikebreakers, an indifferent mainstream press and betrayal by many of their so-called friends in the Democratic Party were recognized as signs of weakness by those who want to destroy labor.
But after the sneak attacks on unions this year in so many states, workers are waking up.
They are finally realizing what is at stake in the War on Workers, and they are volunteering for duty by the thousands.
This is the real “responsibility movement.”